Indiana is among the first states to launch a program to assist nursing home facilities in dealing with COVID-19 and its challenges.
The Indiana Nursing Home COVID 19 Action Network (NHCAN) Extension of Community Healthcare Outcomes, (ECHO) operates as a 16 week interactive virtual community.
Nursing facilities joining the interactive community will work to improve COVID-19 preparedness, safety, and infection control.
The IUPUI ECHO Center will also provide rapid response mentorship for any nursing home that experiences a sudden increase in COVID-19.
Laura Holtz, a Regenstrief Institute senior research manager and project coordinator for ECHO, said all participants are encouraged to share best practices and learn from their peers.
“One of the things that we found with this program is that we are going to provide a forum for nursing homes to be able to share a forum of experiences and also peer to peer learning as they tackle these new challenges," Holtz said.
More than 230 nursing homes from across Indiana are signed up for the program.
COVID-19 is a serious challenge for nursing homes. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, there have been more than 3,500 COVID-19 deaths in Indiana’s long-term care facilities, accounting for more than half of all deaths in the state caused by the disease.